This FAQ is not meant to cover everything covered in the existing threads but rather to cut down on the amount of repetitive (and infraction inducing) posts that keep popping up. Please also consult the more detailed threads if your question is not covered here before posting. If you have any suggestions to be added to this FAQ please PM them to me to keep the clutter low.
Q) Which spec does the most dps?
A) Most recent beta reports put SV as the strongest hunter spec, with both BM and MM significantly behind. However there may have been changes since then (and more tweaks are likely forthcoming in the early weeks of the expansion) so this may change. Additionally, if your raid is missing a critical buff that you can only provide in another spec (such as 10% AP, Heroism/Bloodlust, % Stats or Stamina), it may be worth running as that spec if the raid benefit outweighs your personal dps loss.
Q) How much AP and crit do I get for agility?
A) 1 agil gives 2 AP and approximately .003% crit. 324.85 agil = 1% crit. This is prior to including any multipliers such as Mail Armor Specialization (5% agil), Kings/Wild (5% agil), Into the Wilderness (15% agil) and Hunting Party (2% agil). For more details about stat conversions see http://elitistjerks....l_85_cataclysm/.
Q) Do pets inherit AP from the strength on hunter gear?
A) No. Pet consumables are also no longer available.
Q) Should I wear leather with good stats?
A) Generally no, because if you have all 8 armor slots filled with mail, you will receive the 5% agility bonus from Mail Armor Specialization. It's possible that if you have several quality leather pieces it might be worth giving up the bonus, but for one piece it's unlikely to be worth it.
Q) What stats should be my priority? How can I compare gear? How should I gem?
A) Theorycrafting isn't complete yet for Cataclysm but at the moment agility seems to be worth significantly more than other stats and it's believed that the minimum socket bonus worth giving up agility for may be fairly high. Note that nightmare tears are no longer worth using since you can get hit from blue sockets and int is no longer valuable to hunters. Using agil/hit gems in good blue sockets might be worth it (you can always reforge extra hit off your gear). It's unclear at this time which stat is preferable yellow sockets and this may vary by spec. Keep in mind that haste's value has sweet spots based on how it allows your shots to flow and keeps your focus in balance. Until the relentless earthsiege diamond meta requirements are fixed (currently requires more blue than red) you should use another meta that's easier to activate such as thundering skyflare diamond. You can use Zeherah's Hunter DPS Analyzer to compare gear and gems, but take into account the formulas aren't entirely accurate yet.
Q) How important are my set bonuses?
A) 2pc T11 is a fairly weak bonus, but 4pc T11 is reasonably strong for SV.
Q) What is the hit cap?
A) The hit cap for a hunter is 8% (960 hit rating will get you 7.99%). If you are a draenei you will only need 840 hit rating (which is 6.99%) but keep in mind that pets will not inherit the racial hit buff. Draenei buff is self only now so all other hunters will need to cap from gear alone. Pet hit no longer rounds down.
Q) How does hunter focus regeneration work?
A) At this time base hunter focus regeneration seems to be about 4 fps (focus per second). Our methods for testing are a bit crude so this may be slightly off. 1% haste increases your focus regeneration by 1%, so 10% haste for instance would increase your base regen to 4.4 fps. It looks like all attack speed buffs will affect your focus regen in addition to your attack speed. The exception to this is hunting party and equivalent buffs, which is currently bugged and will actually reduce your regen by 10% instead of increasing it.
Q) What does haste and attack speed do for me?
A) Haste and attack speed both are treated similarly and both increase your autoshot and steady/cobra shot attack speed by the percentage listed (or in the case of rating the percentage it converts to). The effect of multiple haste buffs is multiplicative, except in the case of rating based buffs, which get added to your other rating before being converted to a percentage. To calculate your steady/cobra shot attack speed with various haste/speed buffs you can use the haste calculator. Focus regeneration is also increased by the percentage of haste or attack speed as described above. Hunter DoT tick speed/ticks are not increased by haste or attack speed, and neither is the global cooldown, which is 1 second. Pet attack speed is increased by all haste or attack speed buffs that are not specifically labeled as ranged only. Pet focus regen seems to be increased only by haste not specifically labeled as ranged only and not by attack speed buffs on the hunter such as heroism/bloodlust.
Q) Does weapon speed matter?
A) Special shots are now mostly normalized for weapon damage contribution. The base weapon damage still plays a small part in the shot damage (which gives a slight edge to slower weapons), but not a large enough amount for it to greatly impact weapon choice as the bulk of the damage comes from the AP contribution which is equal for all weapons. Weapon dps and stats will be a much larger factor in your damage. For MM a faster weapon may be slightly better due to increased procs. For SV and BM the weapon dps factors into less shots and the stats on the weapon are likely to impact your damage more heavily.
Q) Does improved serpent sting do damage when refreshing serpent sting?
A) No, using chimera shot or cobra shot to refresh serpent sting will not trigger improved serpent sting's damage. The only time it will apply is when casting serpent sting manually on the target (or via multi-shot with the serpent spread talent). If you apply a serpent sting to a target that already has one up however, it will still do damage in addition to updating the duration of your current serpent sting.
Q) Why does my dps suck?
A) This can be caused by a number of factors. Here are some things to look at:
- You may not be speccing and gearing optimally- threads on this forum can help you with this
- You may not be following the correct shot priority
- You may not be managing your focus well. Make sure that you anticipate your focus needs as your high damage shots are coming close to off cooldown so you don't tap yourself out before they're available
- You may not be properly utilizing the bonuses from your spec, such as Improved Steady Shot or Master Marksman for MM, Focus Fire for BM and Lock and Load for SV
- You may not be effectively utilizing and timing your cooldowns so that the buffs provided by them are stacked for more damage
- You may not be dpsing well on the move. Make sure to keep movement down to what's necessary and try to time your movements efficiently. Make sure you're still using your instant shots when you have to move and try to let your autoshots get off as you reposition
- You may be clicking- generally clicking abilities that are heavily used in combat instead of using hotkeys will lead to lower dps
- You may not have an interface setup to track everything you need to track effectively. There's a UI thread which may give you some ideas about how to improve your setup.
- You may have high latency, this will lower your potential dps
- You may be missing key raid buffs- this will lower your damage but should also have a proportionate effect on others in your raid.
Q) What pet should I use for raid dps?
A) Currently all pets of the same family should do the same dps. Ferocity pets are generally preferred because they have more direct damage buffs (Spider's Bite, Rabid, Call of the Wild and Shark Attack), but in some cases cunning pets may be a solid option since they have several bonuses as well (Owl's Focus, Feeding Frenzy, Wolverine Bite and Roar of Recovery) and all pet families inherit the same AP from the hunter. Tenacity pets generally are too lacking in damage buff talents to be terribly strong for raiding. In most cases you will want to choose a pet based on what raid buffs may be needed by your raid, as many pets provide full buff or debuff replacements. For full details on which pet to choose to fill a raid buff void, see Petopia's Pet Usage Flowchart and Ability Spreadsheet.
Q) What do all the acronyms mean?
- BM = beast mastery
- MM = marksmanship
- SV = survival
- SS = ambiguous but generally means steady shot
- SrS/SpS = serpent sting
- ES = explosive shot
- KS = kill shot
- CS = chimera shot
- CoS = cobra shot
- AS = ambiguous, could mean arcane shot or aimed shot depending on context
- AiS = aimed shot
- MS = multi shot
- CotW = call of the wild
- KC = kill command
Q) What professions will benefit me most as a hunter?
A) You can compare different profession benefits using the spreadsheet or web based version. The best professions from a pure dps perspective are:
- Leatherworking: improved bracer enchant for 130 agil (which equates to an 80 agil gain plus getting 50 agil in exchange for 65 crit or haste). Because agility is worth so much more than other hunter stats, this is currently the best profession for hunters
- Jewelcrafting: 3 improved gems for a potential 81 agil gain (or the stat of your choice)
- Alchemy: 80 agil bonus to flasks
- Blacksmithing: 2 additional gem sockets for a potential 80 agil gain (or the stat of your choice)
- Enchanting: 2 40 agil enchants to ring for a potential 80 agil gain
- Inscription: improved shoulder enchant for an 80 agil gain
Other professions which provide lower dps benefits but are still provide a decent dps benefit for a hunter are:
- Engineering: nature damage glove tinker (or the WotLK haste version) as well as various toys which aren't damage related and the option to craft a helm on par with the T11 helm
- Herbalism: lifeblood 2 minute cooldown gives 480 haste for 20 sec
- Skinning: 80 crit rating
- Tailoring: swordguard embroidery cloak enchant procs for 800 AP for 15 sec
Professions which provide little to no dps benefit are:
- Mining: 60 stamina
Q) What other hunter resources may be useful to me?
A) There are many excellent hunter resources available, here are a few that may be of use:
- Hunter DPS Analyzer (estimates how various changes can affect your dps)
- Warcraft Hunters Union (hunter advice blog with a bunch of guides)
- OutDPS! (hunter advice blog with lots of informative articles)
- Official Blizzard Hunter Forum
- TKA Something (hunter forums and blog)
- Petopia (pet gallery and resources)